Cooking

Pizza at home

12:49 PM

pizza

The other day I decided to make a pizza myself from scratch at home, including the base, mostly because I am getting sick of having to exclusively depend on some big name franchises to get one, especially since I find them oily, and not so tasty to begin with. And before I continue any further, I don’t care about the “You should have used whole wheat instead of white flour” and other health tips, so pretty much keep them for yourself. It’s not like we are eating Pizza everyday, and where I come from they are still pretty healthy despite using a white base. Granted whole wheat is healthier and I agree to that, there are dishes that just taste better without, the pizza of my childhood included.

Now if you live in Switzerland you actually don’t have to prepare it from scratch, because supermarket chains have come up with the pre-cooked pizzas, the base is pre-cooked, the toping on top raw and sold in the fridge section rather than the freezer one, meaning these are fresh and won’t keep more than a day or two in your fridge at home, you still need to bake them for about 15 minutes to enjoy them, the base is thicker than what you get at a traditional Italian restaurant, softer too but still far thinner than what Pizza Hut or Domino’s offer (both franchises have  very limited success in my country anyway).
Now that I am done giving you the rundown on Swiss pizzas, back to mine, if you please. I have in the past tried the store bought pizza bases you find in supermarkets in India…simply put, they are DISGUSTING…there said it, half of the time I ended with a base that had a sweet after taste, and in any case they turn rock hard solid in the oven after just a few minutes, long before the toping you put on top is cooked enough, and it usually disintegrate on the plate with the topping sliding right off the base.
Making my own pizza dough was something I wanted to do again (I already did a few times in the past) for a long time, but never really got the energy or time to do it, to be frank Pizza became synonym of “Easy way out” on a hell day and making you base and topic and baking it and making a side of garlic bread again from scratch is anything but so.

We had a cold spell hitting Mumbai last week and this is the kind of weather that makes me crave taste from home even more, in a few words, perfect time for a home made pizza, ours turned out to be huge as the recipe I have for pizza dough could easily make two medium ones, but to do that would have meant me freezing half of the dough before letting the yeast do all of it’s yeast-y magic and I didn’t think of planning. I had a pack of frozen chicken bacon in the freezer left, grated pizza cheese in the fridge, all I had to do was make a tomato sauce from scratch, slice up some mushrooms and voila!
Because my daughter actually loves the garlic bread that comes with a pizza more than the pizza itself I googled it and found an easy recipe to follow and we had our meal. DH is usually not that much of a pizza fan, but he ate a whole slice this time around, Ishita did the same, if that is any indicator of taste. The garlic bread is something DH insisted having in his tiffin the next day and what looked like a ridiculously huge amount when I baked it was actually so good it barely lasted 24 hours.

Here is how I make my pizza dough:

2.5 cups of white flour (maida)
1 pinch of salt
2 tbsp olive oil
7g dry yeast (with the yeast sold in India you might need to double that)
2 tsp sugar

1) In a mixing bowl mix the flour and salt and make a well in the middle. Dilute the yeast in a little warm water along with the sugar and pour into the well, cover the yeasty water with some flour and let it foam. Your yeast and flour will be ready to receive more water and be knead into a dough when the yeast water foams and oozes out of the flour covered well.

2) Add water gradually and knead to form a smooth elastic dough, once you achieve that consistency knead and fold the dough for 5-7 minutes then cover with a cotton cloth and let it rise for about an hour. if you plan to freeze half of it for later do it BEFORE you let the dough rise.

3) Pre-heat your oven at 220 degrees Celsius WITH the tray on which you plan to put the pizza on once the dough has risen, knock back your dough and roll out to a 5mm thick circle.
Once the oven is hot, take the pizza tray out with oven mits and place your dough on the hot tray. Immediately cover with your choice of topping starting with the tomato sauce (store bought pasta sauce will work great if you don’t want to make your own), then the vegetables or other topping you want on it, then sprinkle some grated cheese on top. I don’t use that much. On the pizza you are seeing in the picture which is a large one we used half a pack of grated pizza cheese from “Go Cheese), Add some toping on top of the cheese, in our case this was only the bacon and olives that went on top.

4) Bake your pizza for 15-20 minutes until the crust is turning golden brown and the cheese bubbling. Now the reason I must not stress enough that the tray on which you place your raw dough must be HOT is that the fresh toping on top of the pizza will prevent the dough from really cooking in the center of the pizza if you don’t make sure the base is getting some heat from the plate it has been placed on. If you place your pizza dough on a cold tray and put everything in the oven the topping and exposed crust will be overcooked and taste horrible by the time the center stops being gummy. The reason why in traditional Italian clay or brick ovens the pizza is placed directly on the stone bottom I must add.

The garlic bread recipe I used can be found here

Enjoy

11 comments

  1. Krystal5:56 PM

    Its nice that ur family can enjoy continental food! Mine really dont like it that much and they really don't understand why i need to bake even a cake when i can simply buy it from the bakery! I gave up and when i want to have a pizza i simply buy the readymade pizza sauce, cheese and base. Country oven bakery have the best pizza bases out there so its not really a problem. I want to try the garlic bread recipe though since it doesn't involve yeast but garlic powder is not easily available at the supermarket i visit regularly!

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  2. My husband is not into continental cuisine that much, I still cook it, we have a maid that takes care of his tiffin meals and he took on eating light in the evening, usually a bowl of muesli for dinner, so no problem.
    The brand of garlic powder I have is "snapin" it's Indian made, I think Keya whcih is widely available might have it too.

    And I found this brand on Goodlife.com, they do cash on delivery too and this is a very reliable site :

    http://www.goodlife.com/DandA/DandA-Spices-Garlic/156035/Product-Detail

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  3. Shreya1:09 PM

    Looks yummy! What size pan did you use for the garlic bread recipe? I have only a 9x9 inch pan. And your sticks don't look so thin in the picture as mentioned in the recipe. Did you cut them broader instead? Also can you simply use butter or clarified butter in place of margarine because my family is allergic to it.

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  4. I used butter so totally fine, the oiginal recipe was saying margaine? I don't even remember that :)
    I cut the sticks the width they usually do in Domino's pizza because they are a substitute for these. Now I really don't remember the size of my pan, it's a rectangle one I use for brownies, I vaguely remember it was a tad smaller than the one they said they used in the original recipe, but realyl just flatten the dough to about 1cm thick and place it in the pan it's ok if the dough doesn't fill the whole pan in fact I think my bread dough was looking more like an oblong oval when I rolled it and then I gently squeezed the bits that were not fitting in some space before putting it back in the oven.

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  5. Francesca3:42 PM

    One thing i miss really back from home(Italy) is white almond nougat! none of the stores here have it. :(. Do you know the recipe of that? or atleast can u please post a link of the recipe from any cooking website u really trust?

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  6. Aww sorry I have no idea how to make that one :( If i come across a recipe in the future I'll let you know. I get a bit scared attempting candies and sweets recipes so I never tried any. I googled home made marshmallows in the past and marzipan paste because those are things I wanted to try, but I haven't found the motivation and does of dare to launch myself into these just yet :)

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  7. Smriti12:45 PM

    Hi Cynthia, stumbled on your blog while googling reviews for the wonderchef pizzamaker! So it is what I thought it is... doesn't brown the toppings. Anyways, the pizza in this post looks yummy, may I ask what oven do you use? I am back in India after a decade spent abroad and am desperately missing home baking, but struggling to find a good oven here. Thanks!

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  8. The oven I use is a Kenstar microwave oven with a convection mode. Funny that I stumble on this comment now while I am baking a pizza in it, we wanted a grilled topping pizza today so we use the oven for that, if I am in mood for a quicker smaller pizza the wonderchef pizza pan does the trick.

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  9. Smriti12:16 PM

    Thanks! :-)

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  10. Anonymous10:19 PM

    Took me ages to find this recipe. You should really let the archives be visible in this new theme of the blog. Anyways I have this huge box of black olives my cousin sent me and I have absolutely no idea what to do with them except use it in pizzas. Even Google was no help. Gave me only focaccia bread for which I need instant yeast. :( can u suggest any links?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am still to figure out where to put the archive link without crowding the page too much, because my blog is turning 10 years old soon and there are over 700 articles. It found that the best way to find a blog post is to run a search. The search box is at the top in the left hand corner. If you enter the word Pizza it pulls the entry quickly.
      With olives you can do a tapenade, which is a bread spread paste, you just grind your olives in a mixie with a little olive oil and season with your choice of herbs. Store in a air tight jar for a few weeks. It tastes great of freshly toasted bread.

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